Remember our little bird?
It escaped so many times that I stopped trying to catch it. Instead, I just enjoyed watching it hop around our floor. It scavenged for food and shrieked at me anytime I got anywhere near it. It was sort of sweet, really. And it made me feel less guilty for not vacuuming. I mean, if I HAD vacuumed, it wouldn’t have any food. Right?

I named him, you know. I know you shouldn’t name wild pets with broken wings since the odds of survival are minuscule, but I named him against my better judgement. Given my recent addiction (and recovery) to “Prison Break,” I named the bird Scofield in honor of Scofield the Escape King and his ravishing good looks:

(on a side note, the man who plays Scofield actually has a degree in English Lit. AND he sings. Whaddastud.)

Well, I opened Scofield’s box to check on him, and he was dying. I took him in my gloved hands, walked him outside and sat him on the grass.
Except he couldn’t sit.
Lacy stood by my side as we watched him take his last breath.
I said, “Okay, the birdie just died.”
She said, “Oh.”
It was quiet for a minute, and then she burst into tears.

I gently pulled the bird’s wings out and let her see that one was perfect and one was broken.
“If the birdie had stayed alive, it would be hurting because of it’s broken wing, see?” I pointed to it.
“But, but… I just want him with ME!” She sobbed.
I hugged her and let her cry. I explained to her that Heavenly Father could make the birdie all better and that Heaven was a much better place to be. She nodded, took the bird in her hands, said, “I’m sorry but you have to go to Heaven now.”
She handed the bird back, and I told her to go wash her hands.
She sprinted inside. I took care of the bird by placing him back in his box for the moment, rounded up the boy who had run rampant in the yard, and then went inside.
I went into the kids’ bathroom to find Lacy sitting on the vanity with her feet in the sink, water running on them. She was SOBBING.
I took her in my arms and let her cry, and then I told her a short story about when I was a girl.

I had a green parakeet that I loved. His name was Aladdin and I took really care of him. He played with me every day -he would sit on my shoulder for hours. Once when I was sick, he wouldn’t get off my shoulder. He stayed right with me until I felt better. Only then would he go into his cage. One day, a cat got him and he died.

As I spoke, Lacy’s wet eyes got bigger and bigger.
“He died?” She asked.
“Yeah,” I nodded, “I was really sad.”
“You were?”
“Yep. But now Aladdin is up in Heaven and he’s playing with YOUR bird. Heaven has lots of fun stuff for birds. What do birds love?” I asked.
“Toys.” She said.
“Heaven is FULL of toys for birds,” I said.
“Oh,” she dried her tears, “I need to write my bird a note.”
It was a great note.
She read it to me and I wrote down what she said:
Then she drew a picture of a bird with one perfect wing and one broken wing:
As I made dinner, she sat on the counter and cradled her bird.
“I’m sorry you have to go to Heaven now,” she would say, over and over. Trenton asked if he could hold the bird.
“No, Trent,” she said, “He is just SO dead.”

And when Daddy came home, the tears were gone. She was at peace with her birdie’s death. Daddy helped her bury the bird she had wrapped lovingly in two paper towels.
Right here:

That night it was perfect weather. We ate some tilapia, zucchini (which Lacy insists are called “bikini”), and crookneck squash. I love this time of year.
Maybe that’s why I chose to be born when I did. Only four more days until I’m 26!


  1. Jamie Burt says:

    I laughed through my tears. Your kids are so stinkin cute!

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